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In his little book on Hints on Writing and Speech-making, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson points out that "the number of graduates going forth each year from our American colleges must be several thousand, since the number of undergraduates is more than twenty thousand. If we add those who are graduates of academies . . . the figures will be greatly swelled. The majority of all these graduates will be called upon, at some time or other during their lives, to make a speech, as will also thousands of young Americans who have never seen the inside of college or academy." Speech-making, as Colonel Higginson suggests, is a condition of American life and government. True, newspapers and magazines have in some ways affected the requirements for the public speaker, but they have by no means supplanted him, and they never will. The proof of this assertion lies not alone in the peculiar social and political demands under a republican form of government, but is inherent in human nature itself. If men are moved by the printed word, must they not be aroused still more by the spoken word? If the author can convince through the lifeless type, how much more effectively can men's sensibilities be touched through the directness and earnestness of the living man! "In these days," says Ex-Premier Salisbury, "whether we like it or not, power is with the tongue, power is with those who can speak." And Gladstone declared, "All time and money spent in training the voice and the body is an investment that pays a larger interest than any other."

The school and college graduates referred to by Colonel Higginson will become - or should become leaders in moulding and directing public opinion in their respective communities. Now, if education should help prepare our school and college graduates for the duties and privileges of citizenship—and who will say that it should not? — the question arises, Are our schools and colleges performing their duty in the training of public speakers? In some institutions, yes; in many others, no. There has been, even during the past ten years, a marked improvement in this regard, but yet there is no generally accepted opinion that instruction in public speaking demands a place in school and college curriculum.

Why this seeming indifference? In part, at least, because of a widespread prejudice among educators against so-called "elocutionary" training. It must be admitted that the prejudice is well founded. "Long-haired men and shorthaired women," with what Emerson calls a "patty-pan ebullition," have gone about the country giving "readings" wherein self-conscious posing, and the artificial vocalizing of hothouse "literature," have long afflicted a patient public. Now, the association of this brand with the idea of public speaking is most unfortunate. I am not pooh-poohing all public readings, by any means. The intelligent and sympathetic oral interpretation of good literature is certainly an enviable accomplishment, and of great educational value; but even that is not public speaking. Much less so, the dramatic "reading" above described. But, granting this distinction, the objector interposes, "Speaking cannot be taught." And in this connection I wish briefly to notice some of the fallacies relative to instruction along these lines:

1. "Training makes one self-conscious and artificial." This may at times be true, but it all depends upon the quality and quantity of the training. The exemplification of this

bjection is seen in the crude attempts of persons who have mastered the beginnings of an art, and mistaken them for the end. Certainly the masters of the art of speech, both ancient and modern, did not become masters without laborious and long-continued training. Such training was the lifelong work of the Greek and Roman orators. Curran, the celebrated Irish orator, was so handicapped in his youth that he was called "stuttering Jack Curran." He said of himself, "My friends despaired of my ever making a speaker, but I would not give it up." Says one of his friends, "He turned his shrill and stumbling brogue into a flexible, sustained, and finely modulated voice; his action became free and forcible; and he acquired perfect readiness in thinking on his legs." With reference to both matter and manner, Webster said of himself: "When I was a young man, and for several years after I had acquired a respectable degree of eminence in my profession, my style was bombastic in the extreme. Some kind friend was good enough to point out that fact to me, and I determined to correct it, if labor could do it. Whether it has been corrected or not, no small part of my life has been spent in the attempt."

2. "The orator is born, not made." True, in a sense, but we must qualify and distinguish. No man will ever be a great orator without certain inborn qualities and the oratorical instinct. But it does not follow that a young man cannot be taught to correct bad habits of speech and form better habits; to train himself, during his school or college course, in speaking before an audience; to conquer stage-fright, and develop self-control, ease, and power. He may not have in him the making of an orator; but he can, by due attention and systematic work, acquire such knowledge and skill as to increase his effectiveness as a public speaker. And if he has that indefinable quality termed the "oratorical instinct,"

training is none the less necessary to make him an orator No orator is born any more than an artist or a musician is born. The orator who relies solely on his birth is never

heard from.

3. "Be in earnest; forget about yourself and think only of your subject." This is most excellent advice. In the actual process of speech-making, the less one thinks about himself, and the more intensely he thinks about his subject, the more effective his delivery. "Clearness, force, and earnestness are the qualities which produce conviction." But we must distinguish between the end and the means to such end. In the period of preliminary training, perhaps the last thing the young speaker should do is to forget about himself. He may

be dead in earnest about his subject, but such earnestness is ineffective as to his audience unless he speaks, for instance, so that he can be heard. He may have a hundred and one mannerisms, vocal and physical, that most seriously intervene between his earnestness and those to whom he would convey his thought. Says Cicero, in his De Oratore, "What Socrates used to say, that 'all men are sufficiently eloquent in that which they understand,' is very plausible, but not true. It would have been nearer the truth to say that no man can be eloquent on a subject that he does not understand; and that, if he understands a subject never so well, but is ignorant of how to form and polish his speech, he cannot express himself eloquently even about what he does understand.”

4. "Be natural, and you will speak well." This, too, is a most excellent direction, so far as it applies to the avoidance of artificial and mechanical methods in the act of speaking; but what do we mean by being "natural"? Talking through the nose or teeth, or in the throat, or at the walls, may seem natural to many; but these are matters of habit rather than of nature. Students who in their school or college course first give attention to the manner of their speech, bring to the

study certain habits. These habits may be good or bad. The good habits need developing and strengthening; the bad represent sundry faults, some curable, many needing to be eradicated and supplanted, all capable of improvement. Now, these bad habits are not natural, in the sense that they are true exponents of nature. They are, rather, a cultivated unnaturalness. We must therefore be careful not to confound habit with nature, peculiarity with individuality. On this "being natural" fallacy, Professor Hiram Corson, in his little book, The Voice and Spiritual Education, says: "Enter into the spirit of what you read, read naturally, and you will read well,' is about the sum and substance of what Archbishop Whately teaches on the subject, in his Elements of Rhetoric. Similar advice might with equal propriety be given to a clumsy, stiff-jointed clodhopper in regard to dancing, 'Enter into the spirit of the dance, dance naturally, and you will dance well.' The more he might enter into the spirit of the dance, the more he might emphasize his stiff-jointedness and clodhopperishness."

There is this further phase of the problem: in addition to natural or normal faults of speech, the presence of an audience often superimposes abnormal ones. If one, without training or practice, could rise and face an audience, large or small, and speak with the interest, vivacity, earnestness, and naturalness that he would employ in good conversation, there would be no need of this book or of teachers of expression. But the most casual observation shows that this is not the case.

To learn to speak, then, one must in some way (1) acquire the right mental attitude toward his message and his audience; and (2), as a means to this end, remove, so far as possible, vocal and bodily limitations that hinder the most effective delivery of the thought. There are some who assert that if the first requirement be attained, the second

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